Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Paul Newman, resident of Westport Connecticut for more years than I've been alive and star of such films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Cool Hand Luke, died yesterday after a battle with lung cancer at age 83.

Paul Newman was an actor my mother adored, not only because of his looks and talent but also because of his philanthropical ways. We bought Newman's Own products in part because they were delicious and in part because the proceeds -after taxes- went to charities. We bought his daughter's off-shoot of Newman's Own because it was organic. She bought Shameless Exploitation: In Pursuit of the Common Good, a well written, funny, moving, and sad book about Newman and his charities and how he and AE Hotchner came up with the idea for the first product -the salad dressing. And it talks about the development of his Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp for seriously ill children. It is hard for me to greatly admire actors as people rather than just admiring their craft in many circumstances. But I admired Paul Newman as a person; I admired his dedication to his charities, and I admired the way he developed those charities and worked at those charities instead of just signing over a good deal of money to one already founded. I think it speaks to what he was passionate about, and what force of good he thought he could be on the world. And his charities and products will continue to live on, which is the best outcome Paul Newman or anyone else could ever hope for.

In honor of Paul Newman, I may break out some of his movies; The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, maybe even Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. And I'll wish he and Robert Redford had made one more movie together. And maybe, once I'm financially solvent, I'll write a good sized check to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

1 comment:

MediaMaven said...

I actually first knew who Paul Newman was by his salad dressing and popcorn enterprises, not by his movies. But that shouldn't be so surprising.